The goal of the SMILE Project (Somali Mothers and Infants Learning Experience) is to support Healthcare Professionals in helping culturally diverse populations, empowering them to improve their health/lives, and making lasting change.
By adding a cultural mediation piece, the seminars give a unique opportunity to help Somali women adapt to a strange culture and healthcare system that can be frightening to them. The topics include: Food and Nutrition; Prenatal and Dental Care; Learning about Germs and Safe Foods, Safe Kitchens; Baby Well Checks and Temperatures; and Taking and Giving Medication Safely.
By the end of the sessions mothers learn to put away left overs in the refrigerator, use a can opener, make a bleach solution, take a child’s temperature and call a doctor and explain the situation if necessary. In addition to learning these concrete skills that help a parent create a healthier environment for a child, the participants in the course are delighted that they can do so much more to improve the health of their babies.
The most recent series of seminars was presented by MAMI, in partnership with W.I.C. (Oneida County Health Department), Eat Smart NY (ESNY), the Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network, The Neighborhood Center and Cornell Cooperative Extension. We provided cross-cultural perinatal seminars to Somali mothers. The seminars were made possible by grants provided by The Women’s Fund of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Inc. and the Gorman Foundation.
MAMI is willing to develop such seminars in partnership with community agencies to help improve outcomes for our limited English population. Call us to discuss granting opportunities so that such programs can be brought to your community.